Last updated 3 years ago
A young 13-year-old kid named Tomokazu Harimoto took many by surprise in the World Championship in 2017. His wins over Yuto Kizukuri and Jun Mizutani impressed me. Especially the Mizutani match where Harimoto looked like he was well prepared for the match. And he looked capable despite the loss of beating XU Xin in the QF.
I noticed something about the way he plays this year, it is geared more for speed and placement rather than spin. Allowing his opponents to open up first more, and then placing the ball wide for a winner or very difficult angle to return. Being more aggressive with hitting the ball sooner. Is this the beginning of table tennis going in a different direction in terms of playing style? What do you think of this particular style compared to others?
This is an interesting observation and one that we will have to keep an eye out for.
The new plastic balls are tending to bounce a little higher which lends itself to the style that Harimoto is playing. I think we will still have the topspin play in general but this faster flatter ball may make more of a presence in the future.
The Chinese are still working on topspin strokes. Let's see if they change their thinking with the success of Harimoto.
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